Ground was broken for a new Jefferson Community Health & Life Fairbury Clinic on Monday, Oct. 19. The groundbreaking ceremony was a hybrid ceremony of in-person and on line. It is now available on the JCH&L Facebook page.
“This is a momentous occasion and we wanted to give it the attention it deserves, while keeping everyone safe in this time of COVID-19,” said Dr. Burke Kline, CEO. “The hybrid ceremony allowed staff and the community to witness this historic event safely.”
Ceremony participants included Dr. Kline; Fairbury Clinic physicians Dr. Craig Shumard, Dr. Rick Blatny Jr., and Dr. Brett Wergin; Jessica Borrenpohl, PA-C; Linda Bauer, JCH&L board chairperson; Ashley Norden, Clinic Administrator; Joe Beckenhauer, Beckenhauer Construction; and Kelly Heatley, BWBR Architects.
“I think it’s safe to say that the standard of excellence at Jefferson Community Health Center is a source of pride for the entire county and the surrounding area, so when the subject of updating the clinic facility first came up a few years ago, the entire board immediately recognized how this would enhance the whole campus and help us continue to attract and retain the very best staff and providers, which in turn will help us to deliver even better care to residents,” said Linda Bauer, board president.
The clinic project is an estimated $8.4 million project which will attach JCH&L Fairbury Clinic to the west side of the health center. It will feature enhanced handicapped accessibility and infection prevention. Ashley Norden, clinic administrator, said the new facility will help provide better service to patients and make it easier with larger rooms and wider hallways. It will provide a negative pressure area, allow one-way flow through the building when necessary for safer health care.
“Our staff and providers are excited for team work space and technology improvements which will help with our electronic health record,” Norden said.
Dr. Craig Shumard talked about history of the clinic. Prior to 1925 there was a clinic above what is now Husker Rehab, then the Golden Rule building. He said it is uncertain if it was officially the Fairbury Clinic at that time, but it was officially the Fairbury Clinic in 1928 when the physicians moved across the street to the second floor of what is now Heartland Bank. The current clinic on 22nd Street opened in 1968.
“Now in 2021 we will see a new clinic built,” Dr. Shumard said. “That will be a huge milestone for us all.”
Jessica Borrenpohl, PA-C, said the facility and providers appreciate the community’s support. She thanked the community for attending, participating and donating.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership for a lifetime of health in this new clinic,” Borrenpohl said.
The full project began on Oct. 12 with construction of a new parking area west of Cedarwood, which needs to be completed before the clinic construction begins to allow for parking. The new parking area will have access from both the Cedarwood parking lot, and the north lot accessible from H Street. Clinic construction will utilize most of the south H Street parking lot, and will mean the south entrance from H Street will be closed.
In the early stages of the project, the front entrance circle drive will be closed and the main entrance will not be accessible. The main driveway and the north H Street parking lot will be accessible, along with the new parking just west of Cedarwood. Once the south driveway from H Street closes (now anticipated for Monday, Oct. 26), the Emergency Room and Outpatient Services will be accessed ONLY from 22nd Street. Some new parking will also be added south of the health center building, and will be accessible from 22nd Street.
“Thank you in advance for your patience with entrance and parking changes necessary for this project,” said Lana Likens, director of public relations. “We apologize for any inconveniences this project will bring. We know the long-term benefits will outweigh the short-term inconveniences.”
Anyone with questions about the project should contact Likens at (402) 729-6855.